Friday, November 7, 2014


They are your first friends in life outside of your own home. And likely they are your life-long friends. They know all about you, the good and the bad---and they still love you. Yes I am talking about cousins. I am very blessed to big a part of a large extended family.
All of the Angle first cousins but two. 

Barnes first cousins, plus spouses and children and steps and all the extras plus my Grandmother. 
I love how with my cousins, its always game on, and a good time will always be had. It really doesn't matter what we are doing. And its ALWAYS the more, the merrier!!! The example that comes to mind of a most recent 'goodtime with my cousins' involved cousins who were MILES apart from either other, but we had a blast anyway. For that, I have to thank social media. I was feeling sorry for myself last Friday, thinking about all that I wasn't going to be experiencing with my own family and just generally feeling lonely. I jumped on Facebook to check out what was going on and my brother had posted the picture at the top of myself and most of my Angle cousins taken last summer. His comment was something to the affect of, is it too early to start planning a get together for next year? All it took was a few folks replying and away we went, literally have next summer's reunion planned, we know where we want to go and when we want to go there. 3 of the 5 branches replied. Guessing the others will jump in if they are able. The planning was just details, the funny comments and snarky barbs back and forth made my afternoon, in fact it made my whole week. I am pretty certain that my cousins are the reason I will never REALLY feel lonely in this world. 

Feeling Thankful for the Love of Cousins on this fall Friday afternoon,
From Tulip~

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 6, My Farmer

I was warned not to write about him. So instead I will share pictures. (He didn't mention that) I am blessed and thankful this man is in my life. Here's some of the reasons why.
My Farmer is a pretty serious guy, but when he smiles its always genuine, nothing fake with him, ever!

Four kids changes the dynamics of a family, that guy takes it in stride.

Had to add one that shows the humor he brings to my world, sometimes I am laughing with him, sometimes I might just be giggling a little at him. ;) 
We might call JH the cattle whisperer, but she gets that skill naturally. The cows know what an important person he is in their lives. 

When we were dating, going country dancing was a big thing. almost 25 years, later it takes a younger woman to do a little shaming to get him out there. 

I think these skinny young people used to be us. 

So glad we got a dog 'for the kids' (another animal that knows how important he is, but this one plays him like a violin, she may be more spoiled than our two legged kids, and HE is the reason why.)

Always game for mischief, the board or 'stud' in the picture was part of a practical joke played on the neighbor girl. Totally his idea Brittney, here's the proof!

My hard working man. 
Downtime is rare, but is usually spent at a cattle show.
Since I am not supposed to write anything, there it is, I figure if pictures don't count, neither do the captions. My life is certainly blessed with him in it and for that I am thankful today. (even on a Thursday!) 
Proud of the title Mrs. David Hasekamp,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5th day of Thankfulness--Head Heart Hands and Health

As a kid growing up, I tried many things. I played sports, little league, then school-ran, playing softball, basketball, track and golf. I was in Girl Scouts. I was in 4-H. I played in band. Not all of these things at once, mind you. But I tried it all. Then I grew up, got married and we started our family.
When our oldest child was old enough to be on a T-ball team, I was ecstatic! He tried that for a few years, but then the much strong influence and possibly at times a driving force for rural kids came along...................4-H. F&L Hustlers, to be exact. It was the club we would join 12 years ago and would become a big part of our family for over a decade---SO FAR.
It's the club that The Farmer was a member of, his sisters, all of the neighbor kids, the kids at church, the kids on the bus route and so on. (of course that's a lot of the SAME people mentioned over and over, but that's okay) Our club meets on the first Wednesday night of the month. (tonight) The club is primarily comprised of kids who attend Centralia schools, who live in western Audrain county. There are a few rebels who live in Boone county or Monroe (like us) and a few who attend other schools.
F&L Hustlers was established in 1949. One of our neighbors, Bob McBride was a charter member. Within his family three generations have been members. Many families have the second generation going through the club.
4-H and the skills learned through it have made a big impact on the lives of my children. The responsibility and commitment that it takes to raise a beef project are two that stick out in my mind. My oldest son will say that his years at camp taught him that he has a special skill with young kids and plans to put that skill to use as a middle school teacher. My quieter younger son may not say that he improved his speaking skills through doing demonstrations and leading the meeting as President, but he did. Our littler two kids are just starting to see all of the places 4-H can take them. As we drove to school this morning, we talked about which projects that they will enroll in for the coming year. I am always surprised by where their interests lie and then amazed that 4-H has something to accommodate those interests.
As I prepare for tonights meeting and juggling all that makes up our busy life, I am ALWAYS thankful that 4-H is one of those things in it,
From Tulip~

Harvest Abundance

In the last year, things have changed in our household, I work what I like to refer to as a 'town job.' By this, I mean that several days a week after dropping the kids at school, I drive on to that job, instead of turning around and heading back home to help David. This time of year, when he is working long hours as well, we don't see much of each other. I certainly don't have my finger on the pulse of the farm, not that I ever have had that, at least not to the extent that The Farmer does.
Some of the things I miss the most are happening right now at our farm. The trees that encircle many of our fields are turning brilliant shades of gold, orange and red. They make for a beautiful backdrop for pictures. I miss taking pictures of the combine, the grain pouring out of it, into the trucks, then augers to the grain bin. I think watching the movement of the grain is so calming. No, I really don't ever mind being asked to dump trucks.
The feedlot is another great source of entertainment at this time of year. The calves are over missing their mommas by now and are starting to establish their pecking order among them. Watching the silly playfulness is quite entertaining.
This has been an amazing growing season. Rains came about when they needed to, with correct amounts. Temperatures weren't so extreme to impede proper planting time, burn crops in the heat of summer or make for an early fall. We really couldn't have ordered a much more perfect year, weather-wise.
With all the right conditions, the crops grew. Boy, oh boy did they grow! As we baled record amounts of hay this summer and chopped sileage, it became all the more obvious, harvest, this year would be a 'fun time' It's always great listening to my Farmer and neighbor visiting from truck to truck as they meet on the road while doing morning chores. They report what the day before's yields are, talk about the line at the elevator, of course wonder if it will rain and they will get a day off; and so on. If  I am lucky enough to catch a day off and get to help on the farm, I am always a happier person at the end of the day!

While they are no artist examples of great photography, above are a few pictures I grabbed while helping The Farmer on Monday.

Loving this FUN TIME of year, with abundance harvest and remembering its a good problem as we play the game of where to market the grain,

From Tulip~

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thankfulness, Day 3 Hometown Healing

It's been a busy morning, full of everyone else's errands. As I went through the motions of checking things off my list, in the back of my mind I was rolling over, which thing will I be thankful for today. Before I could get in here and start writing, my inspiration was handed to me in a text from my oldest son. 'Mom, you better check facebook, there's a post about Dr. Bradley.' Well, I was outside helping The Farmer switch to the last field of soybeans, (YAY!) so I called my son. I think I already knew before I heard the words, 'Dr. Bradley died, mom.'
In our small town we have been blessed with medical care from the definition of old school family doctor. Dr. William Bradley has served the community for over 40 years. He's the only doctor I remember. He's healed our sickness, sewed up our wounds and been a shoulder to cry when there was nothing else that could be done.
As a community we will have to cry on each other's shoulders as our sweet Doc has left this world today. He's now with the Great Healer. His own personal pain is gone. We are left to heal our broken hearts. As a friend said, "How do you replace a doctor who can look at you and know what's wrong?"
We who loved Doc know what she meant. Who else says to a mom of 4 kids, who has two of them in office, if anyone else gets this, call us and we will call in more meds, and I am home this weekend, call the house if you need to.
Dr. Bradley you have been an icon to our community for so long, I can't imagine how we will do without you. When you closed the doors merely days ago, we said he must be really sick, as most of us figured you would be there till last moment, and you darn near were. You are irreplaceable, they definitely broke the mold when they made you. Rest in Peace, Sweet Friend, Rest in Peace.

Sitting here sort of in shock at this point,
From Tulip~

Sunday, November 2, 2014

You can't keep a good man down

So yesterday as I wrote the post about Jenna, I was already thinking about that in the world of us, Nov 1 and Nov 2 are a busy pair of days, because guess what, as we celebrated Jenna's birthday yesterday, we celebrate Seth's today. Today marks one decade of our lives with this brilliant, full of life love and humorous little soul. As I wrote Jenna's post, I purposely used 12 pictures, I was keying on the age she was, sort of a top 12, I don't know. Well in my search to find pictures that gave you the story of Seth, I found that following my theme of as many pics as the child was old, wasn't going to work.  There have been so many things about Seth that truly break the mold and make him unique. Follow me on this attempted journey to describe all that he is to us.

Probably 16 months old, rockin' the diaper and wrestling head gear. That would be our little boy, running to catch those big kids, try everything that they have, do it all, live in every single moment. 

First Christmas. After 3 others, I thought I knew what a Hasekamp baby looked like, till this was born. I found out I had it in me to make an Angle baby, cowlick and all. The others had a head full of hair, this one not so much and what was there was dark and had wave to it! Wow! 

Determination, when this guy sets his mind to do it, its done. He was pretty serious about catching a fish in this pond and a little unimpressed by me distracting him with pictures. My camera died, and he caught a fish. Always teaching us, that days' lesson was patience. He learned it, me well probably not.

After two night owls, do you have any idea how pleasant this face is to see in the morning. Cody pops right up, Sam and Jenna, not so much. One of my many privileges of having four children in my life, this littlest one is pure joy from the moment his eyes open. 

Besides the pure joy mentioned above, he's also pure boy. I think that means he is at least 85-90% dirt. No he doesn't go outside and roll in it, but it sure seems to find him. That was his first day as an only child, older three had went to school, that guy lived it up big and played and did exactly what he wanted to do all day long. Apparently what he wanted to do was get dirty! 

At about this age, he vowed, pledged and promised me that he would stay little. I remember when he said those words, the lump in my throat almost choked me. There are so many things that I have savored with this last one, his innocence and child like love of life is one of them. Sadly, he's not been able to keep that promise to stay little. But I am still promising to him not wish away one moment of my time with him. I really think you savor those last ones so much more. 

This guy never got to be the big boy in the equation, until the cousins started coming along. There is nothing sweeter than watching him 'teach' Marshall things. Granted before things are said and done I may not feel that way and his Aunt Beth may wish he would quit teaching him so much, but for now, we love seeing this side of his personality.

How many kids can you stack on the 4 wheeler? That day it was 5. No worries, it idled around the yard. Always the giver, Seth gave up his preferred seat to this younger cousins and sister and sat all the way to the back. 

When we got married, we were pretty young. Married a couple of years before we ever even discussed kids. When we finally decided, it turns out it wasn't quite as easy as we figured. Eventually we  had Cody, then Sam finally. We discussed was our family the size that we wanted. At the time we thought maybe. Well while we were thinking, Jenna snuck onto the scene and then BAM! Seth too, all the obstacles of the earlier pregnancies were overcame. When I look at our children, I think I am so glad that God knew we needed a big family. 

He is the face that lights up a room, I can never look at him without seeing sunshine. Makes it hard to be tough when that is needed. I am sure that he will endure his older siblings comments on he never had it as 'hard' as they did. I will be first to admit that I am not the same mom to him that I am to the others. But he's not the same kid that they were either. No better. No worse. Just different. Viva la difference.

This is a GREAT example of who Seth is. His humor fills our lives. Besides the constant smile on his face, its seems to be his life work to make sure you are smiling and has a natural ability to entertain, probably a youngest kid thing too. He's happiest laughing and I am so glad that is who he is. 

Figuring out your place in the world is tough enough. Try having older brothers and a sister who do a wide variety of activities. Seth has pretty well tried it all. Its still up in the air what he will settle on as his thing. But again his loving personality will show through. Not even sure he cared that he won in this picture, he just knew his momma would want the picture and there he was coming off the mat to pose. He knows me well. 

I tease my older kids, and say that if I  had known what a great helper the 4th kid would be, I would have started with him first and hope that he influenced the others. Part of his pleaser personality is this gift of knowing what needs to be done and just doing it. I love that about him. I sometimes think he makes me walk a little more straight and narrow. That's okay, they've all four taught me so many things. 

Interesting the difference ten years makes. You have the 16 yr old who would prefer his picture not be taken. The 6 yr old was making a face. I know the difference is amazing on so many levels.  

This is who Seth is. Busy. Full of life. Always has time for it all.
As I thought about how to describe Seth and explain how blessed we are by him, I found it a daunting task. He is an amazing young man. He won't be contained in any way. He will be. We will all just have to sit back and watch and feel blessed we were invited along for the ride.

Thanking God for unanswered prayers like Seth William Hasekamp,
From Tulip~